Brandon Maxwell Clings to the Past
Put down the moto jacket. It's okay.
Brandon Maxwell held one of the most gatekept shows of the season, allowing no one from the outside world to see the newest collection before the show was over. With glamorous drapings of playful sheer fabric and a limited color palette — mostly neutrals, with the exception of a couple of bright red dresses and pops of metallics on denim — the SS24 collection is clean, unfussy, striving for chic.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with these clothes, but it’s obvious who they’re for. Brandon Maxwell is catering to the more traditional of the fashion characters: a woman of high net worth, possibly an always-polished housewife on the Upper East Side. She has a Saks personal shopper to refresh her wardrobe every season; a table at Russ and Daughters; a busy philanthropic schedule; and a hazy understanding of “outside clothes,” because she hasn’t ridden the MTA since the Clinton election.
Some of the accessories Maxwell chose — floppy, oversized purses with metallic buckles and long handles — reminded me of the 2010s. And perhaps this entire collection does, in a way. It is high fashion for the eternally rich and glamorous; pre-virtual runways, pre-Instagram Live, the kind that even the fast fashion brands would need a beat to be able to copy because it isn’t accessible right away (unless you were there).
This glamour retains an edge to it: sheer textures that highlight silhouettes are contrasted against slouchy knit sweaters (but the right kind of slouchy, where the item still fits properly even when it’s loose around the body). Then: a leather moto jacket, a leather sleeveless maxi dress with mermaid-scale detailing, and a similar skirt all make sure the collection retains its cool. Yet I wouldn’t use words like “bold” or “exciting” to describe SS24 — and perhaps that’s on purpose. There’s no whimsy, but the woman who wears Brandon Maxwell doesn’t need that. She’s got a luncheon to attend. 🌀
You can view the whole collection here.